Top Tips for Renting a Car & Driving in Dubai
Dubai is an incredible destination with so many amazing places to visit. If you are planning to visit Dubai and want to see the sights in your own time, then renting a car and independently exploring is the perfect option. And as a foreigner, this is a lot easier than you might think.
Check out our top tips below with everything you need to know before driving in Dubai.
Top Reasons to Rent a Car in Dubai
Booking a tour of Dubai or relying on public transport and even taxis to get to the best spots in Dubai can be very expensive and there are so many advantages of getting your own a car to get around.
Dubai is a place built for driving with a fantastic road network and high quality highways, you won’t have any problems navigating the city and its surroundings. This is a city designed to make it easy to get around, with road signs that are easily readable in English.
Driving in Dubai as a foreigner is a lot less stressful than you might think. If you are considering going for the rental options, there are lots of rental services which offer fantastic deals to international tourists. This way you'll end up saving money and you'll get to visit Dubai on a smaller budget. The public transport system is not very reliable and won’t take you to all the places that are worth visiting and although taxis are affordable, the price can take a toll on your budget, when going to attractions or landmarks that are a bit far away from the city. If you’re going low cost, renting a car in Dubai is a really good idea, especially if you know that you are going to be moving around a lot.
The freedom and independence of driving your own car is quite literally all you need in order to explore the best places that Dubai has got to offer. You can choose from an amazing range of cars; from economy cars to the best high end cars out there. Dubai has it all, even though there are many advantages; there are also some road and driving rules that you have to take into consideration before you decide to rent a car, such as
There are though many things that you have to take into account. Dubai has its own different rules and when researching online renting a car can seem like quite a challenge. But do not worry everything is possible, and it is actually quite a popular choice for tourists.
The minimum driving age is 18 years old, although you can only rent a car if you are over 21 years old. For some supercar rental companies you would only be able to drive their cars if you’re over 25, this is usually just for luxury options though.
If you are from one of the US, Australia or a European country, you don’t need an International Driving License as you’ll be able to drive with your own license from your home country as long as you hold a tourist visa. For all other nationalities, make sure you obtain an international driving license.
Choosing a Car Renal Company
The car rental market in this country is quite a competitive one, which can only mean one thing there are higher chances you’ll find some affordable, cheap car rentals in Dubai. You just need to enter the dates when you want to hire your car, the location, pick up/drop off times and there you go. It will show you each car selection depending on the difference using the filters, companies in the city and the car type. You can even select if you’d like an automatic or a manual car.
There are 4 main car types that you could be interested in and average prices depend on the season. If you want to rent a cheap car in Dubai, the rates per day are more or less the following:
- Economy Car: High Season – $US 62, Low Season – $US 62
- Mini Car: High Season – $US 75, Low Season – $US 68
- 4×4: High Season – $US 88, Low Season – $US 88
- Luxury: High Season – $US 195, Low Season – $US 170
As you can see, prices in Dubai don’t change dramatically because of the high season (November to March) or low season (April to October).
The car rental company will require you to pay a sum of money on your credit card for the deposit. Do NOT give your deposit in form of cash because some companies have been known to scam people this way and you might never get your money back. Card payment is always preferred and the safest method. Keep in mind it might take up to 2 months for your bank to credit your card the money after you return the car.
Things to Know Before Picking Up Your Rental Car
Inspect the car from the inside and outside and take pictures in case of any possible scratches it comes with. You can make this a habit anywhere you go because it’s very useful to do it so you won’t have to pay additional fees for damage or scratches you didn’t make yourself. Ask the rental company for a number to call in case you have any troubles with the car/road. Check that the car documents are in place. Check that your AC is working, If it doesn’t it will be hot and most of the time you can’t open the windows as it will be sandy.
There is nothing worse than finding out that the car you have selected is a tiny matchbox and you can’t even fit your luggage, Even though we all have Google Maps nowadays, make sure that you have a proper GPS tracker in your car. It will come in handy from the very first moment of trying to find your way to your hotel in Dubai.
Car insurance is not something to look at lightly and car rental companies like Monthly Rent a Car Dubai know that. That is why they do the best they can to protect you. In the Emirates, the law requires rental companies to provide third party liability insurance inclusive of the rental price, however, there are certain optional insurances that you can get on top of that
Driving Rules In The Emirates
Obiding by driving rules in Dubai is very important and not following them can carry serious fines and issues. Make sure you have read the driving rules below so you are on top of all that is expected of you as a driver in the Emirates.
You will be driving on the right-hand side of the road and passing on the left. This will be normal for people that come from the US and most European countries.
If you are driving with your kids, remember that if they are between 4 and 8 years old, they have to sit in a booster seat and no child younger than 13 years old is allowed to sit in the passenger seat. Make sure you let your car provider know so they can make all the arrangements.
They drive on the right and pass on the left (just like in most of Europe and the US).
It is, of course, required to wear your seatbelts.
It is not allowed for drivers to use their phones unless it is through a hands-free set.
Make sure you respect all the road rules-Dubai doesn’t joke around when it comes to fines.
All cars must be insured and registered, so make sure your rental agency like Rent a Car Dubai gives you all the required paperwork.
Don’t drink and drive, not only for the possible fines but for your own safety. When I say this, I mean not even one bottle of beer. Blood alcohol level has to be 0, otherwise you risk being charged up to US $5,000 in fines, being deported or even being thrown in jail.
Last but not least, speed limits are always clearly signaled and are usually as follows:
- Motorways: 100-120 km/h (minimum speed being 60 km/h)
- Urban Areas: 60 km/h
- Residential Areas: 40 km/h.
Usually there is no parking fees in the malls for less than 3 hours from Sunday to Thursday but this can vary per mall. As a general rule, parking is usually free on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays.
Regarding parking on the street, the prices differ depending on location, type of parking and duration. The good news is that you can park for free on Fridays and public holidays, and people with disabilities can always park for free.
There really are so many amazing things to do in Dubai and renting a car can be one of the best ways to discover the highlights. Have you ever driven in Dubai? Got any recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below.